Kneeling leg curl exercise

Kneeling leg curl

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus)
  • Synergists: Gastrocnemius, Gracilis, Sartorius, Popliteus
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Kneel on the knee pad with one knee.
  2. Place your opposite leg under the lever pad and rest your knee against the front pad.
  3. Position your forearms on the arm rest.
  4. Grasp the handles for support.


  1. Exhale as you flex your knee and raise the lever to the back of your thigh.
  2. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your hamstrings.
  3. Inhale as you lower the lever to the starting position by extending your knee.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. To work your opposite leg, move the knee pad to the other side and repeat the exercise.

Comments and tips

  • Adjust the lever pad for optimal leverage.
  • Keep the movement slow and under control.
  • Try to resist the lowering of the lever. Don’t just let it drop.
  • Point the toes of your working leg toward your shin. This is known as dorsiflexion, and it allows your gastrocnemius to offer better assistance to your hamstrings.
  • Your hamstrings consist of three muscles, two inner (semitendinosus and semimembranosus) and one outer (biceps femoris). By adjusting the orientation of your feet, you can emphasize different hamstring muscles during the kneeling leg curl. To emphasize all hamstring muscles, keep your feet straight.  To emphasize your inner hamstrings, turn your feet inward.  To emphasize your outer hamstring, turn your feet outward.
  • See also lying leg curl, the seated leg curl, and the stability ball leg curl.

Kneeling leg curl video


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